Liubomyr Khaburskyi on Work-life balance: “Don’t say that you’re busy”

Liubomyr Khaburskyi is a consulting expert with 20 years of experience in providing legal services to large scale IT projects and governance. For one year he pushed all his usual activities aside, keeping only his teaching career. What for? So that his wife could get a scientific degree. That year Liubomyr, a five-time university graduate, spent parenting and doing household chores. Two successful people, Liubomyr and his wife know from experience what Work-life balance is and what obstacles have to be overcome in order to maintain it. Here is Liubomur Khaburskyi himself, sharing about the ways of finding this balance.

Liubomyr Chabursky

“Some careers are incompatible with family life. The first step is to acknowledge this and set your priorities before accepting any job offers. You have to remember that no one will create the work-life balance for you; all the companies will try to take up as much of your time, as it is possible. So if you do not arrange your work-life balance yourself, somebody will “do it” for you. Chances are, you might not like their variant.

Nigel Marsh, the author of Fat, Forty and Fired, pointed out that if you decide upon finding time for your personal life on a daily basis, you are most likely to fail. It is much better to set aside 2-3 days a month or 1 day a week, depending on which intervals meet your needs better, and spend these days with your family or loved ones.

Do not schedule anything epic for these days, like long-distance trips or something of the kind, otherwise this time may never come. Find your work-life balance in brief spontaneous moments like drinking morning coffee together or discussing your day at work in the evenings, spare at least several minutes to do something together, for instance take a walk together before going to bed. It doesn’t have to be anything intellectual or physically-tiring, it may be any routine activity which can turn into a brief moment of intimacy: like watching a movie together or simply embracing each other. Just do it every day.

There might be periods in your life, where there simply isn’t time to follow the work-life balance scheme. In such cases make sure to create “a light at the end of the tunnel” – set at least an approximate date when the tension will ease and you will be able to spend time with your family. Why is this important? Because your spouse needs to know that despite being so busy you are looking forward to being able to give them more attention as well. Since when this desire is not reciprocated, it is extremely exhausting.

Friendship is of no less importance in work-life balance scheme. My advice: don’t tell your friends, that you are busy. Simply do not use this word combination. Busyness is a fact of life and there’s no way but to accept it. Preferably, tell your friends when exactly you will be able to see them and do as planned.

It is widely accepted that e-mail, Facebook messaging and cellphones make us always available. In reality though, this is what allows us to postpone communication for later. You can decide yourself what is more important for you: responding to a letter, taking a call or dining with your beloved person, reading or resting. From now on it is up to you whether you will allow your phone to distract your attention from you family and loved ones. And your decision in this situation is very significant.

Think of the story of Odysseus. He ordered his crew to fill their ears with wax, before passing by the cliffs inhabited by sirens, the mermaids with enchanting voices that lured the sailors and led them to certain death. Odysseus himself wanted to hear the sirens’ music, so he ordered to be tied to the mast. Thus, even though he heard the sirens singing and was greatly tempted, he did not give in to the temptation and saved his crew. Remember this story, when you pick up your gadget instead of spending time with your loved ones.

And my final advice is to talk to your close ones about what constitutes a perfect balance to both of you. It is always better when the time spent together is equally enjoyable to you and to your loved ones alike, when it’s not too much, and not too little, but just the right amount.”